Benedict's brother: Doctor ruled out transatlantic trips

the Rev. Georg Ratzinger in front, with Pope Benedict XVI in the background. Pic: AP

Pope Benedict's brother Georg Ratzinger said the pontiff had been advised by his doctor not to take any more transatlantic trips and had been considering stepping down for months.

The Pope today announced his intention to resign on February 28, at 8pm local time (7pm Irish time).

Georg Ratzinger said his brother was having increasing difficulty walking and that his resignation was part of a “natural process”.

“His age is weighing on him,” the 89-year-old said of his 85-year-old brother. “At this age my brother wants more rest.”

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